Boxes from 2x4s

chuckr30July 28, 2005

Remember the old slat boxes that oranges and many other foods used to come in? I make my own to store toys in the garage, like balls and stuff. Here's how I do it:

- A 2x4 in the US is 1.5" x 3.5". First I cut 4 "legs" of the box. Each leg is 1"x1" so I get 3 from a 3.5" wide piece of 2x4. I have .5" left over to make the slats. Cut legs to length, say 16".

- Cut slats. I do this on a table saw and set the width to about 1/8". An exact thickness of 1/8" is not critical. What you want is a sturdy slat and all slats the same thickness.

- Cut enough slats for 4 sides of your box PLUS the bottom, which will also be slats.

- Assemble a side, mark "bottom" on the bottom most slat on all sides so you can asssemble it correctly later on.

- Take 2 "legs" place them parallel. Glue AND nail slats perpendicular to the legs. The key here is glue AND nail. 3/4" finish nails should be fine, use 2 on each end of a slat. Designate the bottom of the box and start there. The slat should rest on the bottom of the leg. Work your way up putting a space between each slat. Use another slat, like a broken one or one that is the wrong length as a space between slats. It's ok if you end up with a little extra of the "leg" showing at the top of the box.

- Assemble another side the same way as above.

- Now attach the 2 sides to each other using more slats in the same manner as above. Start at the bottom and work your way up. When you are done you will have 4 sides of a box and no bottom.

- Make the bottom. Take 2 slats to be the "skids" which will rest on the ground. Nail and glue slats between them the correct distance.

- When done with the bottom, flip it over so the skids will rest on the ground, then nail and glue the bottom into the 4 legs.

That's it! For glue, I use Elmer's Wood Glue. Do not use white glue or craft glue, use some type of wood glue.

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Here are some pics. Hold mouse over picture to see description in a tool tip.

First, cutting the slats.

Assembling a side.

Connecting 2 sides with slats.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 8:31AM
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Yes, I remember, and in fact, have one which is an antique. It's one of the small ones, and was in my Granny's kitchen. It's in my kitchen cabinet and holds baking pans. I also, as do my two sisters, have sewing boxes, shaped like a man's old fashioned tool box, made from old orange crates. Our Granny made them for us one Christmas, painted them white, and decorated them with folk art painting. We all three treasure our sewing boxes. They're practically antiques now!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 12:22PM
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